The expert deposition is like the stone at the base of the pyramid, the medical malpractice plaintiff's case is greatly dependent on this moment- the delivery of an expert opinion. There is a path from the point of injury through the review of medical records that ends in an evidence burden shift: the expert on record on the issue of liability.
The insurance experts will review records and later focus by necessity on the initial liability opinion. Based upon a review of all evidence they will generally reveal factors unrelated to the plaintiff's theory of liability. They sometimes focus on the effect of other types of causative factors.
An important consideration, a liability expert whose area of expertise does not coincide with the plaintiff's circumstances will leave an area of incomplete coverage. It is often the case that more than one field of expertise is needed. This can be due to the inherent limits of fields of expertise, and an opinion must sometimes be limited in its scope. The plaintiff's case might therefore require additional areas to be covered beyond the primary medical malpractice expert. A common example might be the expertise needed to assess brain or organ injury which follow an excessive loss of blood.
A standard of care must be defined under the circumstances of the plaintiff's situation and this is a critical fact, a vital piece of evidence. Great care must be given to the adequacy and depth of this expert opinion, much depends on the research of needed expertise and selection of the expert witness.
The health care provider's insurance company will certainly want to examine the data released by an authorization for medical records, and there is an opportunity to consider the completeness of the records and contents. The plaintiff's review of medical records is always important, sometimes vital. One consideration is whether the records were complete, others lie within the contents such as: records of machine readings, attending personnel, and the time sequence of events. A thorough review will set the stage for expert selection, and precise and productive discovery requests.
In the trial of the issue, when the finders of fact( the jury) hear the case, medical expert testimony can be compelling as well as legally forceful. The jurors tend to react with great curiosity and sometimes with deep empathy. They serve a function guided by the Court: to render an impartial verdict based on facts and law. In a technical field such as medical malpractice, a medical expert's guidance is needed and a sense of understanding is sought. Medical expert testimony when effective leaves little or no doubt of the causes and effects of injury. It connects the jury to the main issue.